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Howdy, Modi show hails US-India ties

Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, Houston, US, United Nations, live stream
US President Donald Trump participates in the "Howdy Modi" event with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston, Texas, US.- Reuters

Houston - Modi began his talk inside the NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team, with a loud, "Howdy, my friends!"



By Reuters

Published: Sun 22 Sep 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:49 PM

US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a stage and showered each other with praise on Sunday at a "Howdy, Modi!" rally attended by upward of 50,000 people, a rare mass showing for a foreign leader on American soil.
Trump, calling the gathering a "profoundly historic event", was greeted with a standing ovation by the Indian-American crowd and his speech was interrupted several times by roars of approval.
The US leader hailed the India-US relationship and the Indian-American community as he reached out to an ethnic group that voted overwhelmingly against him in 2016.
"You uphold our values, you uplift our communities and you are truly proud to be American and we are truly proud to have you as Americans," Trump told the crowd.
Modi began his talk inside the NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team, with a loud, "Howdy, my friends!"
In his remarks delivered in Hindi, Modi said that he was "impatient to take the country to new heights" and that "today the buzz word in India is development."
The event has given Modi, a nationalist facing international criticism over a recent crackdown in Kashmir, a chance to energise his relationship with Indian-Americans who are active political supporters.
Jubilant supporters dressed in everything from ornate saris to simple dhotis and even a few cowboy hats waved American and Indian flags, chanted "Modi! Modi!".
"Today we celebrate our community and its importance in Houston and all America," said Ketan Inamdar, who works in the administration of Houston's Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner, and painted an American flag on his right cheek and an Indian one on the left.
"Trump is very welcome here today. This event is to build harmony and love," he said, standing just in front of the dais. "Race, religion and political parties don't matter today."
Houston is a rare Democratic stronghold in Republican-dominated Texas and serves as the economic anchor of a state that will be critical to Trump's 2020 re-election bid. Polls show tepid support by Indian-American voters, some 75 per cent of whom voted for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in 2016.
But organisers of the "Howdy, Modi!" event said: "His presence is an indication of his support and endorsement of the strengthening of India's relations with America," said Preeti Dawra, a spokeswoman for the Texas India Forum that organised the event.



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